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NHL tracking pucks this season, opening up gambling options

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NHL tracking pucks this season, opening up gambling options

DETROIT — The latest generation of NHL pucks have six circles on both sides covering tubes that allow infrared cameras to constantly connect the vulcanized rubber with a puck and player tracking system.

After a bumpy start last season with microchipped pucks that didn’t slide right, the latest versions have worked so well that at least one coach wasn’t sure if they were in play yet.

“I’m not aware that we have used those pucks yet this season,” Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “I wish we would so we could feel them.”

That seems to be a good sign. The NHL attempted to track pucks last January, but took them off the ice six days into the season.

“We went away from it because the puck didn’t glide right,” Blashill recalled. “It didn’t feel like a real puck. Obviously, that’s the trick. I think puck tracking is a great thing that will really help the analytics a lot.”

That is indeed the key: Data generated by the pucks and from sensors about the size of a thumb on the backs of players will be used by teams to develop their players and to scout opponents. Passing, puck possession, takeaways, giveaways and more can be accurately recorded without the potential subjectivity of a scoring crew in an arena.

In contract negotiations, it isn’t difficult to envision a day when teams and agents point to data generated by the tracking system.

“Everything that could be used against you, it could also be used for you,” Winnipeg Jets forward Pierre-Luc Dubois said.

TV networks will continue to display and talk about some of the information on broadcasts and studio shows.

“We have to make sure the data is used in the right context,” said former NHL player Anson Carter, now an analyst for Turner Sports. “We all know (Colorado center) Nathan MacKinnon is fast and if the data says he’s going nearly 40 mph, I’d use it if it showed that two or three other players were perhaps 7 mph slower and integrate it into an analysis to hammer home a point.”

Fans who want to know how fast players skate, how hard they shoot and more will be able to choose options that will show the data on an overlay as they watch on a big, medium or small, hand-held screen. Some details were announced in February.

“We’re going to let fans decide how much or how little they want to incorporate it,” NHL vice president of business development and innovation Dave Lehanski said. “They will be able to create a personally customized viewing experience.”

Perhaps later this season, gamblers are expected to be able to wager on a new wave of bets. How far does the puck travel in a game? Who skates the fastest in the second period? Who has the hardest shot in the game?

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‘They’re basically stealing from kids’ – Thieves steal Boy Scout troop’s trailer

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‘They’re basically stealing from kids’ – Thieves steal Boy Scout troop’s trailer

ST. LOUIS – A local Boy Scout troop is heartbroken after a trailer carrying all their camping equipment was stolen over the weekend in the Holly Hills neighborhood. Now, the troop is asking for the public’s help to either find the trailer or help replace the items lost.

Troop 104’s bright red trailer was stolen Friday morning around 5 a.m. Scoutmaster Michael Lohff said the truck and all the equipment inside totaled more than $15,000, including tents, cookware, and tarps. He said all the items were acquired from years of donations and fundraising. 

“It has a big impact on the fact that we’re going to have to look up replacing everything as we go along, or definitely before we hit the road again, and we want to be able to do that very soon,” Lohff said.  

He said he brought a bright red trailer when he first started with the troop so he could carry all the troop’s equipment for camping and other activities.  

“They’re basically stealing from kids; that’s what they’re doing,” he said. “Whoever did take the trailer and all that equipment from the boys. They stole from the boys that are members of the troop and have been members of the troop for all these years.”

Lohff said all the items were acquired through donations and fundraising by his scout members.

The trailer was parked in a private lot in the Holly Hills neighborhood in south St. Louis. Lohff said he has parked the trailer there for nearly two decades without any incident. He was heartbroken to find the trailer had been stolen.

“That raises very personal concerns of who’s right behind my backyard,” neighbor Chuck Smith said.

Smith lives a couple of doors down from the lot. He said the trailer has become a neighborhood staple over the years.

“To do it at this time of year before Christmas, it just seems like a very insensitive thing to do,” he said.  

Lohff said the trailer also got broken into last year, but only a few items were stolen after that incident. But after this recent theft, he’s going to upgrade his security. He said police do not have any security footage. 

Anyone with information on the person or persons responsible for the theft is asked to call the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department at 314-444-0100 or CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS.

There is a GoFundMe page to help the troop replace the stolen trailer and gear.

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Saint Louis Zoo wants gun activist who fought its ban to pay legal bills

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Saint Louis Zoo wants gun activist who fought its ban to pay legal bills

ST. LOUIS (AP) — After successfully defending its weapons ban in court, the Saint Louis Zoo is now trying to force the gun-rights activist who challenged the ban to pay part of its $150,000 in legal bills.

The zoo filed a request for its request for legal fees in August, but a judge has yet to rule on the motion.

A lawyer for Jeffry Smith of Cincinnati, Ohio, who challenged the ban on guns called the motion unfair.

A St. Louis judge ruled last year that the zoo could ban guns on its property because it qualifies as a school and a gated amusement park under state law.

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61-year-old found dead in burning St. Louis County home

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61-year-old found dead in burning St. Louis County home

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – St. Louis Regional Bomb and Arson detectives are investigating an overnight house fire in south St. Louis County that claimed the life of a 61-year-old man.

According to Officer Adrian Washington, a spokesperson for the St. Louis County Police Department, officers responded to a call for a house fire in the 3500 block of Eileen Ann Drive around 1:35 a.m. Sunday.

Police arrived and saw heavy smoke coming from the home. Firefighters searched the residence and found a man’s body in the basement.

Anyone with information on the investigation can contact the St. Louis County Police Department 636-529-8210 or CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS.

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